Mad Bastards (2011)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Three generations of men struggle to deal with the violent impulses that have scarred their lives in this drama from director Brendan Fletcher. TJ (Dean Daley-Jones) is a mountain of a man of Aborigine heritage living in Western Australia. TJ has a weakness for alcohol and a habit of getting into fights; years ago, he abandoned his wife and son, and as time passes his conscience tells him it's time he began facing up to his responsibilities as a father. As it happens, TJ's son Bullet (Lucas Yeeda) is nearly as troubled as he is; at the age of thirteen, he's already in trouble with the law for burning down a house and doing time in a juvenile detention home. Bullet isn't eager to get reacquainted with TJ, but both realize they need to settle their scores with one another, and TJ's father Texas (Greg Tait), who has come to understand his own demons and become a peace officer, steps in to help. Mad Bastards was an official selection at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
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Lucas Yeeda
as Bullet
Greg Tait
as Texas
Douglas Macale
as Uncle Black
John Watson
as Old Johnnie
Sylvia Clarke
as Aunty Rock
Patrick McCoy-Geary
as Bullet's mate
Kelton Pell
as TJ's brother
Lynette Narkle
as TJ's mum
Dean Guest
as Spider
Wally Scott
as Wazza
Geoffrey Fletcher
as Wazza's mate
Margaret Lippitt
as Texas' Wife
Karla Hart
as TJ's sister
Aaliyah Williams
as Keisha's daughter
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Critic Reviews for Mad Bastards

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (1)

There's yearning as well as stubborn emotional isolation and anger in these characters, and any harshness in the observations of this richly satisfying film invariably is balanced by warmth.

Full Review… | February 7, 2011
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Fletcher has done a great job with Mad Bastards and should be especially commended for getting the performances out of these non-actors.

Full Review… | October 17, 2013
Onya Magazine

The Australian film renaissance continues in style.

Full Review… | July 12, 2011
Empire Magazine Australasia

Mad Bastards is this year's Samson & Delilah; it bravely explores a host of hot-button issues with a deft blending of humour, sensitivity and often brutal frankness.

Full Review… | June 15, 2011
The Age (Australia)

Thankfully, a resounding emphasis on authenticity and an infectiously motivated cast of amateurs carries this heartfelt drama across the line.

Full Review… | May 12, 2011
Herald Sun (Australia)

Mad Bastards is simply Australia's most impressive film since Animal Kingdom.

Full Review… | May 8, 2011
Cinema Autopsy

Audience Reviews for Mad Bastards

While it tackles tough material, the terrific lead performances, stunning cinematography and uplifting score add up to a film that's pretty special.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

This film from down under is a tale of redemption and reconciliation. As the movie opens we see 13-year-old boy, Bullet, set a home on fire while TJ, a burly hulk of a man, is engaged in pool game that leads to a brawl. As the story continues we find TJ is Bullet's absentee father. Part road movie, part domestic drama, the movie tracks TJ's attempt to build a relationship with his son while exploring the ideas of what it means to be a man. The movie drew me in with each frame and the Q&A only heightened my appreciation for it. Director Brandon Fletcher discussed how the story was developed based on real life experiences of the actors and other community members. The majority of the actors had never acted which is amazing given the performances he was able to get from them. Another highlight of the movie was the music by the Pigram Brothers. The music was great and was used effectively to comment on the story. We got an added treat in the Q&A - The Pigram Brothers were there and performed a song, which was terrific. I want the soundtrack!!

Rene Dupre
Rene Dupre

**1/2 (out of four) Yeah! My first film from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. It is the Australian drama written and directed by Brendan Fletcher. The film has a wonderful visual style and is well directed. It does a good job of capturing a specific place in the wilds of the Kimberly region of Australia. I wish the script was a bit tighter and the lead character of TJ was better fleshed out. He seems a bit like a thug that would be at home in a Steven Seagal movie. In fact that is the films biggest ostacle. It feels like a better than average film from a huge action star. The performance by Ngaire Pigram helps ground the film a lot. He plays the area cop and makes the biggest impression on this audience member. TJ (Dean Daley-Jones) lives a wild and rough life. But that will seem easy compared to the journey he takes to go back to Northwestern Australia to try and help save his son from taking a similiar path in life.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

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